I’m sure most of you have seen these top whatever lists everywhere on the Internet. I know I have. My goal here was to try and separate the ones that have worked for me from the ones that didn’t. Here’s a couple of things that I started implementing in the past year that have bolstered my self-esteem. Most of these changes are relatively easy and affordable and you can start doing them immediately. The most important thing is to stay consistent and make these a habit.
#1 – Treat Your Body Like Everything Else You Love
Do you love your car? Your house? Your guitar? If you do I’m assuming that you take good care of it. You make sure it doesn’t get damaged. You don’t abuse it or neglect it. Why should your body be any different than this. How can you have high self-esteem if you can’t even treat your body right? The two go hand in hand.
#2 – Take Supplements
Make sure you are getting the right nutrients everyday. You should try to get as much as you can in your normal diet but it can be hard to do so. That’s where supplements come in. I would suggest three key supplements everyone should take: Fish oil, Vitamin D, and a regular daily multivitamin.
Fish oil is obvious. There is no reason why anyone shouldn’t be taking it. It’s relatively cheap and the benefits more than pay for it. Increased joint, cardiovascular, brain, and eye health are just some of the more well known benefits. Fish oil has also been shown to increase concentration and reduce symptoms of depression.
Vitamin D is another important supplement to take not only for your physical well being but mentally as well. Vitamin D is pretty much involved with everything in your body including bones, immune system, and mental health. Vitamin D deficiency is directly related to depression. Your body naturally produces Vitamin D if exposed to around an hour of sunlight a day. The problem is some people have trouble getting enough sunlight with their lifestyle. So if you spend a lot of time outdoors great. If not, consider taking a Vitamin D supplement or better yet go outside.
You can also take a multivitamin if you want. It will help cover for other nutrients that you are not getting enough of in your regular diet. This doesn’t mean you can eat fast food everyday and expect a vitamin to save you. Get your nutrients through your diet first.
#3 – Sleep
Sleep is another no-brainer when it comes to improving your health. Sleep will help repair not only your body but also your brain. A regular adult should be getting around eight hours of sleep every night. It also helps if you have a set bedtime everyday. Your body responds well to having a regular sleep schedule.
#4 – Body Language
This is key and possibly was the hardest thing on the list for me to get over. Maintain eye contact, speak clearly, keep your head up, chest up, and back straight. This will seem very weird and unnatural at first but eventually you will do these things automatically without thinking. It was hard for me at first. I always mumbled, looked down at the ground, and slouched. Having good body language will radiate confidence. Just take a look around next time you are in a public setting. Observe the people that demonstrate these positive signs of body language. Then look at the people who are walking around with their hands in their pockets staring at the ground. You easily tell who is living their life the way they want to and who isn’t.
#5 – Improve Your Wardrobe
This goes along the lines of taking care of your body. The paint is peeling of your house. What do you do? Paint it. Same thing should apply to your body. I always wore the same thing every day: sneakers, jeans, and the graphic T-shirt of the day. If I was feeling ambitious I would put on a hoodie. Over the past year I have definitely diversified my wardrobe. I’ve notice a huge improvement in my confidence simply by wearing a nice button-up shirt to school as opposed to when I wear my three year old Myrtle Beach T-Shirt. Building a wardrobe does take time so don’t rush out and empty your bank account. Also don’t follow some cookie cutter way of fashion. You can dress to match your personality just dress nicely. Make sure you wear something comfortable that also makes you feel good about yourself.
#6 – Set Achievable Short, Medium, and Long Term Goals
This is one of those tips that’s on everyone’s list in some shape or form. Make goals that are realistic but not easy either. Having goals helps give your life a sense of purpose. There isn’t a better feeling to me than setting a goal and watching it become fulfilled. You should have short-term goals as well as goals for the near future and the distant future. In most cases your short-term goals serve as building block for your ultimate long-term goal.
For example, my short term goals are to pass this quarter of school, cut weight for the summer, and work on my shyness. My goals for the near future include getting my degree, find a job in my field, pay off my debt, and live on my own. My long term goals include becoming an investigative journalist, squat 700 pounds, and travel the world. My ultimate goal is to become the best person that I possibly can.
#7 – Do the Little Things Well
Probably the biggest improvement I’ve seen in myself over the past year is my improved work ethic. Face it. You are not going to be the next Kim Kardashian. You will not become successful overnight by doing nothing. You will have to put in the work to be successful. This means put effort in everything you do including the little things. If the dishes are dirty clean them. If there is an opportunity for extra credit in your class take it. How can you expect to be the head of a Fortune 500 company if you can’t even return your shopping cart to where it’s supposed to go? If you give attention to the little things it leaves you better prepared to handle the big projects.
#8 – Don’t Think About Messing Up
A lot of people with low self-esteem have a similar mindset when they do something. They always try to not mess up and what do they do? They mess it up. Don’t go into something with this mindset. Don’t think about messing up at all. In fact don’t think about it at all. I can’t tell you how many times I have over analyzed something and ended up screwing it up. Most of the time a situation is complicated because you make it out to be that way.
Just Do It™